ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- The housing market has already started to shift amid coronavirus concerns, according to a local realtor. He said it's starting to shift from a seller's market and possibly move to a buyer's market.
Adam Kruse, owner of Hermann London Group, said he's seeing homes sit on a market a little longer and receive fewer offers.
"Homes that we would have thought 'oh my gosh we’re gonna list this thing, I better be available tomorrow to go through all the offers,' we’re not seeing as many showings and maybe not as many offers," said Kruse.
He and his staff are also implementing changes to practice social distancing. Wednesday, Kruse video chatted with a couple looking to sell their home instead of meeting in person.
His staff is also switching up the way they handle open houses.
“We’re not gonna do these crazy big open houses where 80 families are coming through, we’re gonna want to spread things out a little bit and give people time to see the property," said Kruse.
He plans to use Facebook Live to show people homes if they'd rather not visit in person, a tool he has used for years, but believes will be much more important.
“Before my message was 'come and see me' and now the message is like here you can actually really see the house and maybe will start making offers on homes without actually seeing them," said Kruse.
The shift in the housing market comes as mortgage rates recently hit a historic low.
“Bonds being a safer investment than being in the stock market so people were investing in bonds, including mortgage bonds, so that had had an effect on bringing rates down and they came down to historical lows," said Mark Hirsch, a mortgage loan officer.
Hirsch said mortgage rates were the lowest he had seen them in February, but have already jumped back up.
“The rates just jumped overnight and some people missed the boat unfortunately," said Hirsch.
He also saw a huge spike in the number of people applying for a loan and wanting to refinance their homes, but said that's already slowing down with rates back up.
“Rates are not any lower right now than they were a year ago so if you were in a position where it didn’t make sense to refinance, it probably doesn’t make sense right now," said Hirsch.
Hirsch said with so much volatility in the market, the rates could drop again.
The challenge now is making sure buyers qualify for a loan.
"We have to verify their employment with their employer. If there’s nobody there to verify or they say sorry they’ve been laid off, we may not be able to qualify them for the loan in that instance," said Hirsch.
Even with so much uncertainty in the market, Kruse said it is not a bad time to buy or sell a home. He told News 4 there is a chance it could stay a seller's market if people choose to delay putting their home on the market.